Temptation

When we are tested He can help us to resist temptation.

by Derrel Emmerson

Luke 11
“Father, Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Now we must say something we usually address at the beginning of any commentary of “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is this. Jesus was not giving his disciples a prayer to pray. He was giving them a “for-instance.” He was saying to them in effect, “When you pray this is an example of prayer you should be praying.”

Even this outline of prayer is sufficient as a prayer. This outline has been meaningful for generations of praying people. It is succinct, beautiful and covers the matters of our lives that are basic to human living.

In effect, Jesus taught that our prayers are received by a friendly God. He loves us even though He is the noblest of all beings. Jesus is also saying that we are free to petition this hallowed God for those basic things of life which comprise our human existence. Finally, he takes us to something which can hinder our prayers. It is our tendency to be led astray by being tempted by unchecked desires instead of real needs.

We know from scripture that God does not tempt humans to sin. (James 1:3) He does, however, allow us to be tested. When we are tested He can help us to resist temptation. We need to pray for his help to avoid the tempting trap of demanding what we covet for selfish ends. The refined understanding of Jesus words are “Lead us not into temptation (testing) but lead us away from it.”

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